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Writing to heal
August 11th, 2002
It was a sunny day in a vibrant city. Women and men laughed, talked, and walked fast in the street. I had been there for a bit more than a week.
São Paulo is a beautiful city. The Cidade Universitária looks much like the one in Mexico City—the functionalist style is the same. The difference is that the Mexican one is in the Pedregal, while the São Paulo one is in Butanã, a humid neighborhood with a lot of vegetation. The University of Sao Paulo campus is like the one of the University of Mexico but in a jungle. Instead of tlacuaches, you can find capuchin monkeys.
It was a long weekend. I was in my room looking at the white ceiling. Not that there was anything in particular that caught my attention. I had been like this for hours since I woke up until three or four in the afternoon. I thought about walking on several occasions, but I couldn't. It wasn't laziness. I didn't want to do anything. I couldn't think of anything; I didn't want to read or watch television. It was the first clue I had. Years later, crises like that became frequent. I was diagnosed with depression. Now I take pills and have psychoanalysis sessions.
Almost all my days are good, especially in the last few months, but sometimes there are bad days. Today was one of them. I slept late. Then I was doing nothing. I forced myself to go to the tianguis and go the library. I arrived very late and I was only about three hours there. It's hard.
One of the reasons I keep this diary is precisely to escape depression. The discipline of writing every day, half an hour, helps me maintain balance. I don't know if it works for everyone. It does for me.
I don't remember where I read that Honoré de Balzac wrote almost one hundred novels of La Comédie humaine as a kind of therapy. Tomorrow I will write about writing.